When a product causes injury or harm, there is usually potential for a defective product liability claim. And even though the list of products can vary widely – from consumer products to vehicles to pharmaceuticals – the types of defective product liability claims typically fall into one of these three categories:
Manufacturing defects. When a product does not function as it is supposed to because of the way it has been made and causes harm, the injured party may be able to file a defective product liability claim. Examples of a manufacturing defect could include tainted medicine, a car made with a faulty part, a tricycle with a missing seat bolt, and many more.
Design defects. When the design of a product is inherently defective or dangerous, it can give rise to a defective product liability claim. SUVs that have been proven to flip over easily, airbags that do not deploy or toys made with lead-based materials are just a few examples of products that can cause injury due to defective design.
Failure to warn. If product instructions or labels fail to provide adequate warnings about the proper use of a product and an injury occurs, the injured party may be able to recover damages with a defective product liability claim for failure to warn.
Filing a Product Liability Lawsuit in Texas
The statute of limitations for filing a product liability lawsuit in Texas is two years from the date of injury. However, Texas also has a statute of repose, which establishes an overall time limit for product liability cases -- in Texas, that time limit is no later than 15 years after the date on which the company being sued sold the product.
In order to prevail in a product injury lawsuit, you must show:
Injury or loss. One of the most critical elements of a product liability claim is that a person has suffered an actual injury or monetary damages. Without either of those, you will not be able to pursue a product liability claim.
Product defect. You also have to prove that the product that caused you injury or damage was defective. Types of defects include products that have been manufactured or designed improperly, as well as products that do not carry the proper warning labels or instructions for use.
Your injury was caused by the product defect. It must be proven that the actual defect in the product caused your injury or loss, not just the product itself.
You used the product as intended. You must have used the product as the manufacturer specified it to be used. However, this does not necessarily mean you must have used the product exactly as specified. If it is reasonable to expect that a consumer would use it in the same way you did, a manufacturer will likely be held liable.